tonguegroove Conrad Romo and his crew at “Tongue & Groove” promise a literary event extraordinaire on Sunday, July 26th, in Hollywood (details at the end of this post).

Tongue & Groove has been spreading the word in Los Angeles and surrounding areas for 11 years — with a  monthly offering of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, spoken word + music. The upcoming event features Melissa Chadburn, Seth Fischer, Kita Shantiris, Kym Ghee, Keith Niles, Craig McLaughlin, and musical guest Tawny Ellis.


Melissa Chadburn has written for Guernica, Buzzfeed, Poets & Writers, Salon, McSweeney’s, Tin House, The Rumpus, American Public Media’s Marketplace, Al Jazeera America, and dozens other places. Her essay, “The Throwaways,” received notable mention in Best American Essays and Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her first novel, A Tiny Upward Shove, is forthcoming with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


Seth Fischer is a writer and editor whose writing has appeared in Best Sex Writing, PANK, The Rumpus, Guernica, and elsewhere, and his essay “Notes from a Unicorn” has been listed as notable in The Best American Essays. He has received fellowships from Lambda Literary’s Emerging Voices Program, Jentel, and Woodstock Byrdcliffe, and he teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles and Writing Workshops Los Angeles. Find out more at


Kita Shantirisʼ poetry has appeared in Ambit, Crannóg, Poetry, Quarterly West, The Fish Anthology, The Moth, Slipstream, Wisconsin Review, and other journals. One of three poets featured in The Border (Bombshelter Press, 1984), she also had two poems anthologized in The Faber Book of Movie Verse (Faber & Faber 1993). In 2012, Kita received 2nd Prize in the Ballymaloe International Poetry Contest judged by Leontia Flynn. She twice has been runner-up in Fish Publishingʼs contest judged by Brian Turner (2011) and Ruth Padel (2014). In her other life, psychologist Dr. Kita S. Curry runs a nonprofit mental health center in Los Angeles, where she has been honored for erasing stigma and bringing services to communities of color. Her website is


Kym Ghee is a Los Angeles based writer and photographer. Formerly a music journalist, Kym has recently been working on a collection of short stories in the genre of personal narrative that explore life in L.A.’s Koreatown. Titled Tawdry Tales on the Road to Sanity the often humorous and raw collection explores themes of loss, addiction, sex, love, and personal triumph.


Keith Niles is a widely published Los Angeles poet. He honed his craft during a potent stretch writing, performing, and hosting shows in dive bars in East Hollywood. His most recent book, The Thousand Poems (Vol. 1), is a product of those wild years. A second volume is slated to be released in 2015. Most recently, Niles has recorded a full-length album of genre-defying music with his band The Knownothings.


Tawny Ellis has a distinctive quality rooted in sweet Southern folk. A Savannah, Georgia, native, Ellis traveled extensively before meeting collaborator Gio Loria, who brings lush melodies and lyrical storytelling their music. Ellis is also an accomplished sculptor with an ancestral connection to one of the world’s most famous sculptors/painters, Edgar Degas. She creates for private collectors and can be contacted for commissions. See more at


Craig McLaughlin is a teacher and author of creative nonfiction, an award-winning journalist, and a nationally recognized storyteller. He holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MA in Journalism from UC Berkeley, and taught creative nonfiction at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. A former editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, he received numerous awards as a reporter and memoirist. He performs his essays as a storyteller at venues throughout the country, most often in the San Francisco Bay Area where he lives. For details, visit (Note: Craig McLaughlin has been rescheduled for August 30th.)

WHAT: Tongue & Groove Literary Event

WHEN: Sunday, July 26, 2015, 6-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Hotel Cafe, 1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, 90028